Do Embryo Adoptions “Give Too Much Personhood to the Embryo”?

The pro-life position is the only one consistent with the testimony of Scripture. God’s Word makes it abundantly clear that unborn children are people, made in the image of God and therefore have unique dignity and value (Genesis 1:27Psalm 139:14Jeremiah 1:5). Their personhood and status as image bearers of their Creator begin at the very moment of fertilization—that means even the tiniest embryo (right from fertilization) is a human being, made in the image of God. And that’s one of the reasons why many Christians are now involved in what’s called embryo adoption.

A recent article ran in The New York Times about embryo adoption (also known as snowflake adoption), through which couples (particularly those who struggle with infertility) adopt an embryo “leftover” from an invitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. This baby (a real, living human being) is then placed in the womb of the adoptive mother to hopefully implant and continue growing. Unless they are adopted, these embryos—tiny humans made in God’s image—will otherwise likely stay frozen (suspended) until they are discarded (i.e., killed).

From a Christian perspective (and it is no surprise most embryo adoption agencies and prospective parents are Christians), this adoption program is a wonderful thing—these babies are being saved and given what is needed for them to fully develop. But according to Kimberly Tyson, the marketing and program director at Snowflake Embryo Adoption in Loveland, Colorado, many in the medical community are not very positive regarding these adoption agencies. She says,

The issue in the medical community is that by calling it “adoption,” we give too much personhood to the embryo. . . . As Christians, of course we believe they’re persons. . . . But for the reproductive medical community, if you bestow humanity to the nascent human embryo, you’re interfering with other services that they like very much.


Of course, included with the “other services” is abortion and embryonic stem cell research. As soon as you start ascribing personhood to embryos and unborn children, you interfere with such “services” (murderous ones) because it suddenly becomes clearly unethical to kill embryos as they are not blobs of cells or tissue. They are children!

We should celebrate snowflake adoptions and the couples who are willing to rescue those babies and welcome them into their family. Every child is precious, made in God’s image, and deserving of life.

Sadly, the sacrifice of children by abortion permeates our world! One can only begin to imagine how corrupt the world must have been before Noah’s flood when all but eight people were saved on the Ark from the watery judgment on man’s wickedness.

By Ken Ham

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